In June 2021, the Federal Government declared that September 30 will now be recognized as the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. The intention of the day is to recognize and honour residential school survivors, their families and communities. It will also ensure that public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. All CBE schools will recognize this day and there will be no classes on Sept 30.
This year, September 27-October 1 will be known as Truth & Reconciliation Week. During this time, QES students and staff will be making space each day to honour Every Child Matters and Orange Shirt Day while learning about the history and legacy of residential schools. Throughout the week and in particular on Wednesday, students are invited to wear an orange shirt.
Teachers have been working to develop age-appropriate entry points for all learners and intentional land-based learning activities that help us all grow our understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing. These are ongoing conversations in our school as we work towards meeting our QES Call to Action. Students will engage in a variety of activities to build intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect. I would like to again share Spirit Bear's Guide as a family-friendly resource to learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
As an added piece towards our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, QES has organized a school-wide donation drive with 100% of donations going to the Urban Society of Aboriginal Youth (USAY). This is a local not-for-profit organization that relies heavily on donations from the community to provide support and programming for Indigenous youth in our area.
To take part in our donation drive, please do one of the following:
- Send a cash donation in a labelled envelope inside your child's agenda to give to their classroom teacher.
- Go to https://usay.ca/ and click on “Donate" for E-transfer and Credit Card options. Online donations over $25 can receive a receipt. Please be sure to state that this is part of our QES donation drive.
Online donations will be accepted at any time, however, our final day for cash collections will be Friday, October 1st.
We look forward to this important kick-off week of learning that we can continue to build upon as we move forward through 2021-22 and beyond. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher or myself.
Teachers will be reaching out with class placement information on Monday, August 30.
Tours are being arranged for students new to QES in Grades 1-6 on Tuesday, August 31. Kinders will have their tour as part of their staggered entry day.
We look forward to seeing everyone soon!
Dear QES Families,
We did it! This week we celebrate the successful conclusion of the 2020-21 school year. A year of many changes, resilience, challenges, growth and learning! We are sincerely grateful for the efforts of all students, families and staff in making this year one to remember! When faced with many restrictions, our community went above and beyond to support each other and our students to have a safe and productive school year.
A special thanks to our HUB parents for your support and commitment in helping your child continue their learning online. I have appreciated all the stories, pictures, and videos that have been shared with me. We look forward to welcoming our students back to in-person learning next year and for continued success for those who are not returning to QES.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Ms. Pfob, Mrs. Ernst, Mr. Tinaburri and Ms. Sousa for supporting our Virtual Grade 6 Farewell Assembly. We applaud the achievements of our amazing group of Grade 6 students and wish them all the best as they embark on their new adventures in junior high school.
To our School Council and Parent Society team, you are truly a remarkable group of people. We could not provide the rich opportunities we do without the wonderful support of our parent community and we missed our parent volunteers greatly this year! We cannot wait to have you back in-person again once restrictions lift. A special thanks to Laura and Marcy, our co-chairs, for leading this amazing crew and always checking in for ways to support our students. Jenn, thank you for organizing our Grade 6 celebration treat! I also want to thank our outgoing QES Council and QEEPES members Carla, Kristina, Hamish, Janyce, and Gillian for their service. We look forward to having more parents and guardians join us in the fall!
As the year closes, I want to express my deep appreciation for our staff and the outstanding work they have put into making this year a success for our students. Thank you all for demonstrating tenacity, flexibility and empathy through a very challenging year. Unfortunately, we must also say goodbye to some of our valued staff members. Ms. Engbers and Ms. McConnell will be leaving for new school support roles in other CBE schools – thank you for your support this year and we wish you all the best! We also say goodbye and good luck to the fabulous crew of contract teachers that joined us this year including Mrs. Davey, Mrs. Webb, Ms. Sousa and Ms. Lawless. We are incredibly lucky to have had these talented educators join our QES team and we wish them all the best for next year. We are so grateful that we had the chance to get to work and learn with you!
As we look ahead to 2021-22, families will be kept informed from CBE Communications over the summer should any public health information impact our plans for school re-entry. Communications directly related to QES will resume when our office opens on August 27th. Information regarding first-day entry points and classroom assignments will be communicated by email at the very end of August.
Thank you for another memorable year! Have a safe, healthy and awesome summer.
All the best,
Dear QES Parents and Guardians,
In keeping with our commitment to partner with you on matters of importance, I am writing to advise you of important discussions being held with students over the course of this week and throughout the month of June. The recent news of the tragic discovery of the burial site at The Kamloops Residential School prompted many questions by students and provided an opportunity to help students understand the issues and build compassion for one another.
Queen Elizabeth School students will be given an opportunity to discuss and explore issues connected to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, and provided opportunities to share their thoughts, feelings, and reactions. This discussion includes understanding the significance of National Indigenous History month, flags being flown at half-mast across the country and Orange Shirt Day. As a school committed to teaching care and compassion, the students will be discussing what actions they can take in support of the children, families and communities suffering this tragedy. This week, as one small way to acknowledge our commitment, we wore orange.
Throughout the coming month, we encourage you to answer your child's questions in an open and honest manner and within the context of your families' beliefs and values. As a school, and a member of the larger Calgary Board of Education community, we are committed to fostering a safe, caring, and welcoming learning environment for all students. We are also committed to acknowledging and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for a better Canada for all of us.
Please contact the main office at 403-777-6789, if you have any questions regarding these conversations, or if you or your family require any additional supports.
As we move into June and the end of our school year, I would like to remind all families that we must maintain our current COVID-19 protocols. Regardless of recent announcements, our expectations for health and safety regulations including mask wearing, physical distancing, hand-hygiene and cohorting have not yet changed. We ask that all parents entering our field property or gathering near entry/exits please continue to wear masks and exercise appropriate distancing.
This has undoubtedly been a challenging year for our students and we appreciate how difficult it can be, especially on our youngest learners, when there are significant differences in expectations between the community and the school. We continue to have issues directly after school with large groups gathering on the playground without masks and with limited or no supervision. The number of people far exceeds the current outdoor gathering limits and we continue to receive concerns from parents regarding enforcement. As a staff, we have limited avenues for enforcement and rely on our community to work collaboratively to follow public health measures. I would like to reiterate that there is no school supervision provided after dismissal and the expectation is that all students go directly off school grounds. The Adventurers program utilizes our playground between 4-6pm and they also have mandates regarding health and safety protocols and cohorts. I kindly ask that you work with us to help ensure a safe and healthy end to our school year.
Students and families who have travelled outside of Canada are legally required to follow all provincial and federal travel restrictions upon arrival.
If your family is participating in the International Border Testing Pilot Program, your child may not return to school until they have tested negative on a second test 6 or 7 days after your arrival.
If you are not enrolled in the pilot program, your child must:
This means your child is unable to return to school for a minimum of 14 days after your return.
Wow. 2020! What an astonishing and unexpected year it has been. I want to take a moment to reflect and express my deep gratitude to all of our QES students, families and staff for the extraordinary collective efforts to keep learning at the centre of our community. All of us have been impacted in many ways, both big and small, as we continue to adjust to the COVID-19 global health crisis. I feel very fortunate that our wolf pack has remained strong despite the many challenges this year has thrown our way. Whether you are learning here with us in person, or are at home with HUB learning, I know that it has taken incredible commitment from our parent community and educational staff to continue to engage our kids in finding their love and joy in learning.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our School Council and QEEPES Parent Society for their support and immense kindness as we navigate new ways to have volunteer and parent supports during this pandemic. We are so grateful that members of our community continually step up and generously offer their time, donations and resources to support all learners at QES. We could not continue to do all the things we care about, without parents and guardians in our corner.
And to our students….who have shown such bravery, resilience, and spirit during these unprecedented times. You guys rock!! This year, our holiday activities focused on gratitude and kindness. We asked the kids to focus on being grateful for what we have, rather than what we may be missing this year….and they stepped up! Our 12 Days of Gratitude wall showcases the many thoughtful discussions held with each homeroom. A big shout-out to Mrs. Downs and our lunchroom team members for creating the holiday train to gather student food donations in a COVID-friendly manner. In just one week we collected 5+ major bins of food and $115 in cash donations for the Mayor's Food Drive in support of the Calgary Food Bank. Well done everyone! See pictures in our Student Showcase.
We are also thrilled to announce that our QES Music Club entry to the CBC MusiCounts Canadian Music Playlist Challenge, was one of the 10 contest winners! Our team has won $1000 worth of musical instruments for our school! Congratulations to Ms. Hatt and all of our QES Music Club participants. Check out their winning entry here.
Lastly, we are excited to welcome Ms. Lia Sousa to our teaching staff in January. Ms. Sousa will be taking over for Ms. Hatt as our music specialist during Ms. Hatt's maternity leave. We wish Ms. Hatt all the best as she embarks on her wonderful new adventure as a mom!
Should further restrictions or public health measures impact our return to school, you will receive updated information from CBE Communications and our team. Please ensure both emails are added to your contacts or favorites to avoid missing information that can sometimes be sent to your junk mail folder. Our office will be closed December 18 at 12:30pm and will reopen for appointments on January 4 at 8:30am.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season and a happy start to a new year filled with promise and hope.
October is here and with it a sense of gratitude for our students, teachers, staff and families who have supported us in our re-entry to in-person classes this fall. Our students and staff continue to show a high degree of resilience and patience as we navigate new ways of teaching and learning here at QES. We may have to do things a little differently, but we are taking on the challenge!
This year we ran the Terry Fox Run in our classroom cohorts, setting individual and classroom goals to reach our school-wide target of 1000 laps. Collectively we ran 1594 laps! A shout out to Mr. Tinaburri for sharing his survivor story and putting together a video to help our students understand the importance of this initiative. Huge thanks also to our QES School Council for making a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation in honour of our efforts. We are so proud of our wolf pack!
On September 30, our students participated in Orange Shirt Day, making important connections and building new knowledge of the residential school experience in Canada. I had the pleasure of participating in several small focus group activities and am moved by the deep empathy our students shared and their curiosity and determination to further explore acts of reconciliation within our school community. We will continue on this learning journey together!
We are also grateful for the tremendous fall weather that has allowed us to explore joyful learning opportunities outdoors. We will continue to incorporate these learning opportunities into the fall and winter and want to reiterate the need for students to dress for the weather! Being outdoors is a fantastic opportunity for rich learning experiences as well as a chance for mask breaks. We continue to work with students to practice physical distancing measures outside so that they can enjoy safe and healthy interactions within their classroom cohorts. A reminder that if your child is still finding mask guidelines challenging, to please reach out to their homeroom teacher or myself to develop a plan for safe masking breaks.
I am so grateful for our QES staff, each who have a vital role to play in keeping our learning community safe, clean and focused on learning. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. It is essential that students stay home when ill to prevent the spread of symptoms across classmates and cohorts. We recognize and appreciate the challenges this creates for busy parents and we are deeply thankful for the support we have received from families thus far. Teachers will continue to reach out to families who require support for learning when at home. Please do not hesitate to connect with me should you have any questions.
I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
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